You Could Have Sleep Apnea and Not Know It
Posted: January 23, 2020
Though many people have heard of sleep apnea, it is possible to suffer from the condition and not realize it. Some estimate that upwards of 85% of people with sleep apnea go undiagnosed and untreated. Therefore, it is important to recognize a few key points about this condition. This can help you learn about the condition and determine if you need to visit a sleep apnea clinic for help.
To improve your knowledge about the condition, you should understand the difference between sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. Additionally, you should know some of the symptoms of sleep apnea and how physicians treat the condition. If you are experiencing symptoms, it is important to receive a men’s health assessment to diagnose your sleep apnea and find a sleep apnea treatment plan that works for you. This can increase your quality of life and help you feel more robust.
The Difference Between Sleep Apnea and Other Sleep Disorders
There are many different sleep disorders, and a lot of them can make you feel drained and unwell. However, there are a few things that are distinguish sleep apnea from other disorders. Sleep apnea, or SA, is a condition that causes you to stop breathing during sleep. When you sleep, the muscles that keep your throat open relax. In SA sufferers, this loosening of the throat muscles can actually narrow or block your airways, causing your breathing to pause.
Other sleep disorders can still leave you feeling exhausted like sleep apnea, but there are a few key differences. For example, insomnia is where you have difficulty sleeping. It can be hard for you to go to sleep, remain asleep, or get good quality sleep. Both sleep apnea and insomnia sufferers can wake up in the middle of the night. However, those with insomnia tend to have a difficult time going back to sleep after waking up.
Another sleep disorder is REM sleep behavior disorder. One common symptom of this condition is movement during sleep. Those who witness apnea events in action often notice the person shifting or moving during sleep as well. However, with SA, these movements are usually because the person has woken up from being unable to breathe. By contrast, REM sleep behavior disorder can cause people to move or act out dreams while still being fully unconscious, as they don’t experience the REM sleep paralysis that most people do while they sleep.
Surprising Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Knowing the differences between sleep disorders can be helpful. More importantly, however, is knowing the symptoms of sleep apnea. Many men with this condition experience tiredness, morning headaches, and snoring. However, there are some surprising, lesser known symptoms that you can encounter as well.
Night sweats can be a surprising symptom of SA. During an apnea event, your body does a lot of things to start breathing again. Your diaphragm muscles might work harder for breath, or your body can start to go into survival mode if your breathing pauses for too long. This can cause you to sweat at night, as your body is struggling to continue breathing.
Another unusual symptom is nocturnal urination. If you find yourself waking up to urinate, this may be a sign it’s time to visit your sleep apnea clinic. Apnea events can make your abdominal muscles and diaphragm contract as they try to draw in breath. This can put pressure on the bladder and lead to you waking up to urinate throughout the night. Additionally, sleep disruptions from the condition can prevent anti-diuretic hormones from releasing into your body for the night.
Hard-to-Treat High Blood Pressure
A third unusual sign that you have SA is hypertension that is hard to control. If your high blood pressure is difficult to regulate with medication or lifestyle changes, you may want to take a home sleep test. The reason high blood pressure could be a symptom of SA is because interruptions in breathing can cause your blood oxygen levels drop, and your heart rate and blood pressure go up. Therefore, your hypertension could be made worse by sleep apnea.
Further, if you have a low libido that you can’t explain, it could be due to SA. A low sex drive can result from many of the symptoms related to sleep apnea, like feeling unrested or depressed. If you notice any of the common or uncommon symptoms, you should visit your sleep apnea clinic. We can help you find a personalized sleep apnea treatment plan to get feeling better.
Methods of Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep apnea treatment can be customized to fit your life. In moderate or severe cases, CPAP therapy is usually prescribed to help keep your airways open during sleep. This is a wearable device that prevents your throat from narrowing during the night and waking you up. Continuous positive airway pressure devices are a proven method of sleep apnea treatment, as they can help relieve symptoms and help you get more rest.
Additionally, some lifestyle changes may help with your symptoms. Taking part in a diet and exercise regimen can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, which in turn can help with your condition. There are also other things you can do, like sleeping on your side or stomach rather than your back. Another change you can make for better sleep quality is to avoid relaxants like alcohol, as these can loosen your throat muscles and exacerbate SA.
Visiting Your Sleep Apnea Clinic
If you think you may have this condition, it’s important to visit your sleep apnea clinic. During your visit, you will receive a comprehensive men’s health assessment to help find the cause of your symptoms. We may prescribe a home sleep test to assess whether you experience apnea events at night. This test is done in the comfort of your own home to gather data about your sleep patterns, so it is convenient and easy to use during your normal nightly routine. From there, we can help you design a personalized sleep apnea treatment plan to help you sleep better.
Sleep apnea can leave you feeling lifeless. The physicians at Low T Sleep Center may be able to help. Our convenient men’s health assessments and home sleep tests were designed with you in mind. We want to collaborate with you regarding your health to get you back to feeling like your old self again. Our physicians take your lifestyle and preferences into account when creating your treatment plan. We believe that your health management should be individualized and easy to help you feel better. Make an appointment online with Low T Sleep Center for a holistic approach to men’s health management.
Disclaimer: This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Low T Center. You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.